Welcome to Biarritz
Half ritzy coastal resort, half summer surfer's hang-out, the seaside resort of Biarritz has been a favourite seaside getaway ever since Napoléon III and his Spanish-born wife Eugénie arrived during the mid-19th century. It's been a glamorous spot ever since, lined with elegant villas and heritage-listed residences that glitter with belle époque and art deco details. Unfortunately the 20th century wasn't quite so kind, and the seafront is blessed with its fair share of concrete carbuncles that have done little to enhance its aesthetic appeal. Nevertheless, Biarritz remains one of the southwest's seaside gems – so long as you can cope with the summer crowds and seasonal prices, that is.